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Sign off on Electronic Contracts with eSignatures

Electronic Signatures – Enhancing the Efficacy of eContracts

Vijith Menon

Processes play a critical role in shaping workflow outcomes, and the efficiency of workflows is paramount in maintaining operational systems. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has rendered many manual processes obsolete, ushering in a digital era. In this modern landscape, formerly time-consuming processes have transitioned online, becoming highly streamlined.

As modern technologies continue to proliferate the business ecosystem, digital workflows are emerging as the future. Their adoption has enhanced employee productivity and enabled companies to concentrate on their core services. Contracts, which formalize agreements for goods or services between parties, have undergone a digital transformation as organizations embrace this wave of digitalization, leading to the widespread adoption of electronic contracts.

What are Electronic Contracts? 

An electronic contract is created for two parties to review the terms and conditions of the contract and interact with it on a digital platform. It is a mutual obligation that becomes legally enforceable if it contains the following elements:

  • Offer – A document containing terms for a service or good in exchange for a different service or good.

  • Acceptance – If both parties agree to the terms of the contract.

  • Consideration – The value of the services or goods to be exchanged.

  • Intention to create legal relations – Parties should know their contractual obligations and be ready to enter a legal agreement.

  • Legality and capacity – All parties should be aware of the legal consequences if the contract agreements are not met in their whole capacity.

  • Certainty – All parties should be aware of all terms in an electronic contract and ready to sign one.

Benefits of Electronic Contracts 

  • Simplified User Experience – Electronic contracts offer a user-friendly experience. Templates for these contracts are readily available, simplifying the process. Creating an E-contract involves selecting an appropriate template, filling in the necessary details, and creating space for digital signatures. This ease of use makes e-contracts accessible to anyone, even those with minimal knowledge of legal documentation.

  • Cost-Effective Transactions – E-contracts inherently reduce organizational expenses related to contract creation. The availability of easy-to-fill contract templates eliminates the need to engage costly legal professionals for contract drafting. This cost-effective approach benefits both organizations and individuals.

  • Time-Efficiency – E-contracts save time by eliminating the need for physical meetings between parties involved in an agreement. All aspects of E-contracts can be discussed and finalized through online platforms without face-to-face interactions. Parties can conveniently sign the contracts electronically, streamlining the entire process.

  • Error Prevention – While manually crafted contracts may be precise, they can still contain human errors. In contrast, e-contracts are developed and maintained by legal experts, undergoing rigorous proofreading to minimize errors effectively. This attention to detail ensures their accuracy.

  • Heightened Security – Digital signatures are a fundamental component of E-contracts, significantly enhancing privacy and security. Once a digital signature is affixed to an E-contract, it becomes tamper-proof, preventing manipulation or copying. This robust security feature ensures the integrity of the contract.

  • Operational Cost Reduction – E-contracts contribute to reduced operational costs by eliminating expenses associated with paper, printing, postage, and ink. This environmentally friendly approach saves money and aligns with sustainable business practices.

  • Enhanced Customer Service – E-contracts facilitate faster and more efficient interactions between businesses/individuals and their customers. Sending a digital contract to a customer, regardless of their location, simplifies the agreement process, saving time and effort for both parties. This streamlined approach enhances overall customer service.

  • Effortless Monitoring and Data Retrieval – Electronic contracts are predominantly stored in online databases, making them easily searchable and trackable when needed. This contrasts with traditional paper contracts, which are susceptible to loss or misplacement.

Steps for an Effective Electronic Contract 

Contract Management is essential for companies to keep up with the dynamic challenges of an operating environment. It helps businesses respond quickly to any structural amendments or reclamation requests. Below are the steps for an effective electronic contract:

  • Generate: Easily create and manage contract requests, with the flexibility to customize workflows according to your specific contract processes.

  • Negotiate: Streamline communication with all contracting parties through a unified platform, simplifying the negotiation process.

  • Approve: Efficiently approve contracts within a single platform after thorough stakeholder review.

  • Accept: Enable all involved parties to digitally sign the contract once mutually agreed-upon terms have been established.

  • Fulfill: Ensure timely adherence to crucial deadlines and contract renewals once the contract has received approval.

  • Analyze: Immediately after closing a deal, leverage contract management tools to scrutinize your contract, gathering valuable metadata that can inform future business and contracting decisions.

  • Optimize: Harness the power of data to enhance business operations, automate processes, and uncover growth opportunities.

  • Review: Stay on top of renewal dates by setting up alerts and employing software to assess contract renewals based on your business's performance.

Don’t Miss to Read: How Electronic Signatures Enhance Employee Engagement

Contracts are signed by common users surfing the internet. You may see it as a pop-up that blocks the content you wish to pursue or appears as a hindrance to your surfing habits. These contracts are click-wrap agreements, shrink-wrap agreements, and browse-wrap contracts. They are legal disclaimers that exist between the user and the company in exchange for data.

But, businesses require a different type of signing method to cement their deal. An electronic signature or eSignature assists companies in making contracts legally enforceable.

Benefits of E-signatures 

  • Seamless Workflow Automation

    Embracing e-signatures for digital documents introduces remarkable automation to the signing process. Gone are the days of gathering to ink contracts in a single physical location; eSignatures empower signatories to sign from anywhere. This eliminates geographical barriers and turbocharges the approval process, leading to swift contract signings regardless of parties' locations, ultimately boosting business and client productivity.

  • Enhanced Security and Compliance

    Security concerns loom large in an era of data breaches and the need to protect sensitive information. E-signatures are formidable guardians, equipped with advanced security features superior to traditional paper signatures. Robust measures like two-factor authentication and digital certificates ensure the integrity of your signature and the signer's authenticity. Rest assured, eSignature solutions often align with international standards and regulations, ensuring you stay on the right side of the legal track, as per the ESIGN Act and UETA.

  • Improved Accessibility and Convenience

    They not only make the signing process accessible for individuals facing mobility challenges but also cater to the needs of remote employees and international partners. This newfound convenience doesn't stop at accessibility; it propels deal closures, allowing businesses to generate revenue more swiftly.

  • Efficient Record-Keeping and Document Management

    Managing a deluge of physical documents can be a logistical nightmare, fraught with the risks of misplacement and damage. E-signature solutions offer a centralized platform for storing and managing digital documents, complete with document tracking, version history, and secure cloud storage. Finding, referencing, and tracking the status of contracts becomes effortless, leaving behind the days of sifting through stacks of paper.

  • Faster Contract Execution and Enhanced Customer Experience

    In the fast-paced business world, speed is of the essence, and eSignatures inject a dose of adrenaline into the execution process. Contracts are finalized at warp speed with a virtual pen's swift stroke. This efficiency isn't just about streamlined processes; it's about making life easier for your customers. Swift contract execution leads to happier clients and fosters repeat business, as clients appreciate businesses that prioritize efficiency and a hassle-free contracting experience.

  • Enhanced Legal Validity

    E-signatures carry substantial legal weight, contrary to common misconceptions. They are recognized as legally binding and enforceable in many jurisdictions, provided certain requirements like secure authentication methods and a reliable audit trail are met.

  • Cost Savings and Environmental Impact

    The traditional approach of printing, mailing, and storing physical documents is time-consuming and costly. E-signatures come to the rescue as cost-saving heroes, dramatically reducing paper, ink, postage, and storage space expenses. Additionally, their eco-friendly credentials shine through by reducing paper waste and minimizing the carbon footprint, contributing to a more environmentally responsible business approach.

What is DrySign? 

DrySign is an electronic signature solution that helps companies create, manage, and review their contracts. It helps users create templates of frequently used contracts and send them for review quickly. Moreover, it creates a centralized repository of contracts due to DrySign documents being stored on the cloud. This helps users to look at contracts while on the go.

The Last Word 

In conclusion, electronic contracts need a reliable electronic signature partner to create effective contracts. It needs an electronic signature solution provider that conforms to the latest amendments to eSigning laws.

Do you want to become a Teflon firm capable of withstanding the changing dynamics of client preferences and the effects of digitization on the industry?

Then, you need to fortify yourself with an arsenal of contract creation and management tools capable of creating contracts, as well as the convenience of eSignatures.

Sign contracts securely with DrySign.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.

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